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Using powder-free latex gloves reduces latex allergy rate in health care workers
Date:8/17/2011

among the study participants. Among the health care workers who were sensitized to latex at the beginning of the study, 25 percent lost that sensitivity, and are no longer considered sensitized to latex. Whether these fortunate workers will re-develop latex sensitization if exposed to latex in the future is unknown.

"This study provides the strongest evidence that allergic sensitivity to latex in health care workers is linked to airborne allergen exposure through powdered gloves," Dr. Kelly said. "I believe these findings provide a roadmap for health care institutions that will help minimize the risks of latex sensitization to health care workers. I am extremely grateful to hospital administration at both Froedtert and Children's for allowing such an intrusive change in health care workers' daily activities to conduct this study."

Dr. Kelly's team also found health care workers who had demonstrated latex sensitization were nearly three times more likely to leave their jobs. This phenomenon has been termed "the healthy survivor" effect and helps explain why there may be an artificial reduction in latex allergy seen in some studies as the effected workers choose to no longer be employed without receiving worker's compensation from a work related exposure.


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Contact: Maureen Mack
mmack@mcw.edu
414-955-4744
Medical College of Wisconsin
Source:Eurekalert

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